Da Nang Red River Vietnam

Red River foot rowing
Red River foot rowing

In Northern Vietnam in the Red River Delta, lies the city of Ninh Binh. The Red River runs through the area and enters into the Gulf of Tonkin. The Delta provides the local people with fish, rice fields and wildlife. The city is home to about 130,000 people, it is the capital of the Ninh Binh province and it is about two hours S/E from Ha Noi. The city and the province was of great importance as an ally to the French during the preceding events to the Sino-French war in the bay of Tonkin. The Sino French war started in 1884. The French artillery that was established on the citadel up on a hilltop controlled access to the Bay of Tonkin through the Red River.

Mountain Goats by the Red River, skilled at Rock Climbing...
Mountain Goats by the Red River, skilled at Rock Climbing…
A Mountain Goat looking at you.
A Mountain Goat looking at you.
There is some very beautiful scenery along the Red River, limestone  cliffs and green rice fields mixed in with the green subtropical vegetation.
There is some very beautiful scenery along the Red River, limestone cliffs and green rice fields mixed in with the green subtropical vegetation.

The Red River got its name because the water is filled with silt from the fertile Red soil that is in the area. This gives the river a Reddish Brown tint.

Lotus flowers are in abundant supply along the river.
Lotus flowers are in abundant supply along the river.
Lotus flowers
Lotus flowers

The Lotus flower – Nelumbo nucifera a.k.a. Indian Lotus grows “en masse” along the banks of the Red River in the Delta.

A beautiful Lotus flower.
A beautiful Lotus flower.
This is the seed pod of a spent Lotus flower, and this is what is assuring the proliferation of the Lotus flowers along the river.
This is the seed pod of a spent Lotus flower, and this is what assures the proliferation of Lotus flowers along the river.
Here is an alternative use of the leaf of the Lotus Flowers.
Here is an alternative use of the leaf of the Lotus Flower.
Limestone rock formations surround the river.
Limestone rock formations surround the river.
Red River Delta
Red River Delta
Asian Open bill Storks in the Red River Delta
Asian Open bill Storks in the Red River Delta
Asian Open bill Storks in the Red River Delta
Asian Open bill Storks again.
One of the caves that the Red River runs through on the way out into the Sea of Tonkin
One of the caves that the Red River runs through on the way out into the Sea of Tonkin
The river can get crowded at times.
The river can get crowded at times.
A cave that the river has carved out.
A cave that the river has carved out.
Interior cave view.
Interior cave view.
Interior cave view.
Interior cave view.
Interior cave view.
Interior cave view.
Hole in the [cave] wall.
Hole in the [cave] wall.
Swallows nest outside the cave.
Swallows nest outside the cave.
A family out on a fishing trip on the Red River.
A family out on a fishing trip on the Red River.
Bamboo stand along the river.
Bamboo stand along the river.
A Temple riverside in a cave.
A Temple riverside in a cave.
Flowers
Flowers
A long hoop net sits along the side of the river.
Hoopnets along the river.
Hoopnets along the river.
Closeup on a Hoopnet.
Closeup of a Hoopnet.

Hoopnets are used by the local fishermen on the Red River. The bait sits at the end of the hoop and the fish swims through cylindrical portals that has a wide beginning but tapers to a smaller opening so the fish can not find its way back out. The nets are generally situated with the wider opening facing downstream to prevent clogging the net with silt.

Asian Open bill Stork taking flight.
Asian Open bill Stork taking flight.
Asian Open bill Stork on approach.
Asian Open bill Stork on approach.
Asian Open bill Stork cleared for landing.
Asian Open bill Stork cleared for landing.
The Stork has landed.
The Stork has landed.
A homestead along the river.
A homestead along the river.
Banana plants at the homestead.
Banana plants at the homestead.
Slowly rowing down the river.
Slowly rowing down the river.
Foot rowing style study.
Foot rowing style study.
Limestone formations line the river.
Limestone formations line the river.
Hang Múa with a viewpoint on top of the mountain, you can climb 500 steps up to the top.
Hang Múa with a viewing area on top of the mountain. You can climb 500 steps up to the top and be rewarded with great views of the river and the Delta.

VIETNAM

– The come back kid!

Vietnam has endured many wars over time. Four of the wars were in modern, fairly recent times with the latest and hopefully the last war being against the US November 1 1959 – April 30 1975 . When Saigon fell and the war was over the NVA (People’s Army of Vietnam) was the Victor. When the war was raging during the 60’s and 70’s it was the Vietnam war that made the headlines and spurred protests around the world. Images such as Eddie Adams’ photo of an officer shooting a man in the street point blank during the “Tet offensive“, and images of Vietnamese people including children fleeing the Napalm bombings were seared into the memories of a generation, – my generation!

HAN – Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport is bustling with activity.
Inside the terminal at Noi Bai International Airport.

Today Vietnam is a country bustling with activity and an economy that rivals many countries in the S/E Asia region. Building activity is fervent and there seems to be a real optimism in the country. It is really great to experience how the country and the people of Vietnam has moved on from the years of war. The kindness and welcoming attitude of the people makes you feel really welcome to their part of the world. I was not sure what to expect before my first visit, would there be a lingering animosity from the years of war? But no, at no time did I feel that there was any kind of animosity towards me from the local people I met. There was more curiosity and friendly interest in people from other parts of the world and as mentioned I felt a very welcome to their beautiful country. I can’t help but think that it may have something to do with Bill Clinton’s normalization of the relationship with Vietnam with the help of the late Senator John McCain.

Nhật Tân Bridge across the Red river on the way from Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport into town.
Ha Noi’s old quarter at night.

The old Quarter of Hanoi can be a slightly challenging place at times, but I do think this is the place to stay in Hanoi,. Although, be aware that if you are not in good physical shape, then maybe staying outside of the old Quarter should be considered. In the old Quarter you will at times feel like you are running an obstacle course when you attempt to cross the street. Crosswalks and traffic lights mean less here than in many other places in the world. Other parts of the city is slightly less hectic and have wider sidewalks and better options for crossing the road, but they may lack the charm of the old Quarter.

Political propaganda billboard in Ha Noi.

Vietnam is a Socialist Republic that has adopted many of the Socialist manifestos and ways of governing. Just don’t let this prevent you from visiting, as a visitor you are mot likely to notice much of it other than some posters with messages that you will not be able to read unless you can read Vietnamese.

There is a massive amount of construction in Ha Noi currently in July 2019.
Cranes over Vietnam.
This is what the new suburbs of Ha Noi looks like, less charm and individuality as compared to the Old Quarter of Ha Noi, but also wider streets and sidewalks and a cleaner look – it is all in the eye of the beholder….

Visit Vietnam and see this beautiful country, eat the great foods and interact with the friendly Vietnamese people. The culture is very interesting and the arts are strongly supported by the government. This is very much unlike countries such as the US where art has been forced to take a back seat in schools and other places due to budget cuts and an unwillingness to spend money on the arts – that way of thinking is just very shortsighted.

A country that has a “Temple of literature” like Vietnam does in Ha Noi, must be in the top as far as the arts and in particular as far as philosophy goes!

Dawn over Ha Noi’s old Quarter